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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  March 7, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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creation of jobs, putting americans back to work. with that i ask my colleagues to support the jackson lee amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields back. all time having been yielded back, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. . it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 112-409. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. ellison: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 112-409 offered by mr. ellison of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: thank you, mr. chair.
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mr. chair, this amendment is very simple. we brought this up in the committee. i'd like the whole body to be able to get a chance to have their say on say on pay. say on pay is a good, commonsense thing that empowers investors. it allows shareholders and companies to be able to say, you know, do i believe that the c.e.o. pay of this company is too high? i have in my hand, i like to submit for the purpose of this debate, an article entitled "a rare win for say on pay," and so companies are not exercising the right to have -- to approve or have a nonbinding vote on pay and as a matter of fact neighbors industries announce that the c.e.o. agreed to waive a termination payment and that was regarded as a real win for shareholders. now, this is a bill i would like to support. i think it is a good idea. you know, the fact of the matter is, mr. chair, you'd be shocked to know, i think passed
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this bill out of committee without any dissenting votes. still the issue remains. there are a lot of advantages to this bill. it relieves the emerging growth companies of the pretty hefty burden of complying with 404-b of sarbanes-oxley. it allows them to escape obligations of providing a three-year audited financial statements, and these things, although i think are good for our systems and controls, are costly and do bring a toll. but, you know what, mr. chair, say-on-pay is not costly. it is not burdensome and it empowers investors and makes them more engaged and gives them greater reason to be plugged into what the company is doing. and so i also have a letter i'd like to submit to the record, too, and this letter is from the council of institutional investors, and what they say is they're concerned about the section that would waive say-on-pay because it would not
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have shareholders voice their concern about executive compensation packages. so, mr. chair, i have with me today members who have some -- want to offer some remarks in support and so for the moment i'll reserve. how much time do i use up? the chair: the gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. ellison: ok. so i'll reserve for now and allow the gentleman from texas to weigh in. the chair: the gentleman reserves. who claims time in opposition? mr. hensarling: i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, again, when we add in those who want full-time work and yet have part-time work, those who've given up and left the labor force, those who've been unemployed for weeks and months on in, we know the true unemployment rate in america is
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regrettably close to 15.3%. jobs is the number one concern, jobs and economic growth to the american people, it has to be our number one concern as well. as ever well-intentioned as the gentleman from minnesota, his amendment is, it's not one particular regulatory burden. it is the cumulative impact of them all that is inhibiting job growth in america today. anytime i talk to small business people in the fifth district of texas that i have the honor and privilege of representing, this is what they tell me. whether i'm talking to small business people or fortune 50 c.e.o.'s, it's government red tape. it doesn't mean all regulation is bad but we have to look at the cumulative impact, particularly in the midst of what our constituents view is a crisis. john mackey, co-founder and c.e.o. of whole foods market,
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regulations go too far. there's too much bureaucracy and red tape. taxes on businesses are very high so we're not creating the enabling conditions that allow businesses to get started. again, on a bipartisan piece of legislation that is supported by the president of the united states, most of the provisions, which have been overwhelmingly supported, either on the house floor or on the financial services committee, regrettably, the gentleman from minnesota, his amendment takes a huge step backwards and makes it more difficult for these emerging growth companies to get started. now, i understand his particular concern on say-on-pay, but i would note that emerging growth companies still have to disclose their executive compensation arrangements to shareholders, their s.e.c. filings, the same way that s.e.c. requires for smaller reporting companies, and at what point do you think,
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how many votes do you want to compel shareholders to take, particularly on emerging growth companies? you know, we could require votes on patent filings. we could require votes on retention of the accounting firm. maybe the acquisition of real estate. perhaps shareholders should be compelled to vote to ratify any particular union contract. maybe we should compel a vote on the i.t. system. and we can go to the ridiculous. maybe we have to have shareholder votes to choose between coke and pepsi in the break room. whether or not the coffee is organically grown or not organically grown. what the company logo is. are we here to stand up for shareholder value or somebody's subjective, personal values which i respect but can't again harm emerging growth companies if they're trying to grow jobs in the economy? i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves.
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the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: i'd like to reserve one minute for the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. capuano. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for two minutes. mr. capuano: this argument makes no sense to me. if we're interested in creating jobs, how does it hurt jobs by simply allowing the people who actually own the company, the shareholders, from having the ability to have a nonbinding vote on the pay of their c.e.o.? and by the way, if they chose to pay the c.e.o. a gazillion dollars, that's fine. if, however, they chose to cut the c.e.o.'s salary, maybe they could use some of that money to actually create more jobs. this amendment doesn't eakt the creation of one job -- affect the creation of one job. it simply recognizes the fact that shareholders own the company. they should be able to decide how to spend their money. some people have not liked this provision since it was adopted, and this is simply an
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opportunity to take a bite out of something they've never liked. it has no affect whatsoever on the creation of a job, and i would dare say to empower the shareholders might actually free up some corporate money in order to hire one or two more people. with that i yield back. the chair: the time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: well, mr. chairman, how much time remains on each side, please? the chair: both sides have 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. hensarling: i'll continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. -- minnesota. mr. ellison: i yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. stephen lynch. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for a minute. mr. lynch: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the gentleman from minnesota has a very good amendment here. here's what we're talking about. this would strengthen title 1 by keeping in place the requirement that all public companies, including emerging growth companies, hold a nonbinding shareholder vote on executive compensation and
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golden parachutes once every three years. one vote. they're having a meeting anyway. these are the companies that we know the least about. we support the underlying bill, but we think that requiring a nonbinding vote once every three years is good for the shareholders. the question is, will this inhibit the operation of these emerging growth companies? no, it will not. and i think the gentleman from minnesota has a great amendment here. these are the companies we know the least about. they have the shortest track record. these shareholders and investors are taking a leap of faith, and this would allow them to have a vote on the c.e.o. salaries and also golden parachutes. i ask them to support the amendment. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, at this time i yield the
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balance of our time to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. fincher. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. fincher: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the s.e.c. already provides smaller reporting companies with an additional year to comply with executive compensation disclosure and say-on-pay vote compliance. this bill would simply extend the exemption to emerging growth companies during the onramp period. they would still disclose compensation arrangements to shareholders in the say way that the s.e.c. requires for smaller reporting companies. we think forcing shareholder votes on internal issues such as compensation levels, risk, undermining the emerging growth company's ability to exercise independent judgment on behalf of all the corporation's shareholders. the bottom line here is that we must spare emerging growth companies from the costly litigation that could result if an emerging growth company's board of directors reject or refuse to abide by the results
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of the shareholder vote. and just remind all of my colleagues, the president is supporting this jobs bill, and we think this is something that will really, really put americans back to work, and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota actually has 30 seconds. the gentleman from texas actually has 15 seconds remaining if he chooses to use it. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. hensarling: i'll reserve my 15 seconds. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, we're talking about a vote once a year, probably at the annual meeting, probably take some total of a few seconds, and my friend on the other side of the aisle don't want to at least agree to this small thing that empowers investors and shareholders and puts them in position to be good stewards of the company that they own.
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now, you would think that we could come together on something like this, but when you want to stand up for the highest, most grotesque and egregious executive pay imaginable, then, of course, you're going to say no. in 2010, median pay for c.e.o.'s was $11 million. it's time to get some pay, some say-on-pay. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, every single regulation imposes some type of financial burden on a company that cannot be used to create a job. if this was a concern, why don't we find it listed in the statement of administration policy? it's not a concern of the president. let's work together and pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
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the nays have it. mr. ellison: we'd like to request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota will be postponed. it's now in order to consider amendment 6 printed in house report 112-409. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. waters: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 112-409 offered by ms. waters of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. waters: thank you very much. i offer my amendment today in the spirit of improving the underlying bill in the area of investor protection with regard to the provision of research provisions in title 1. first, my amendment attempts to mitigate against potentially
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damaging conflicts of interest between the people who would profit from an emerging growth company's i.p.o. and the people who write research about such poy's. this amendment provides that if a broker ordealer is underwriting an i.p.o. and also providing research to the public about that i.p.o., those research reports need to be filed with the s.e.c. and underwriters need to be held to stricter liability for their comments. second, this amendment provides that if emerging growth companies are communicating orally or in writing with potential investors before or following an offering, they need to file those communications with the s.e.c. during the dot-com boom of the 2000's it was uncovered that certain research analysts were recommending companies to the investing public because their friends had an economic interest in the firm's i.p.o. or wanted to get other
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businesses from the company. meanwhile, those same analysts were telling their colleagues in internal emails that the company's i.p.o.'s were junk. essentially, these analysts misled the investing public and didn't disclose their economic interest in hyping the company. . we cracked down on some of these conflicts of interests. my amendment, rather than letting these conflicts be restored would require if underwriters are issuing reports about a company's i.p.o.'s, they need to file those with the s.e.c. filing of materials subjects underwriters to morrow bus liability and secondly, the filing of communications with the s.e.c. under this amendment will also hold companies to a higher level of legal liability, ensuring their communications
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accurately portray the nature of the offering and allows the s.e.c. and the public to make sure that companies aren't inappropriately hyping their offering to investors. today, we received communications both from the chamber of commerce and from the council of institutional investors. the council of institutional investors said the council membership supports the provisions of section 501 of sarbanes-oxley and global research analyst settlement. these bolt the transparency and oversight and accountability of research analysts and similar comments from the chamber of commerce. and so i would urge support for my amendment and for the underlying bill. we must help our small businesses to access our capital markets, but we must also mitigate against conflict of interests that would mislead investors. my amendment strikes the right
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balance. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. hensarling: i claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: we have had vigorous debate on some amendments and some that are unwise. we believe this would gut the entire bill. mr. chairman, you cannot sue your way into job growth. you're not going to be able to sue your way into economic growth. this amendment takes us a huge, huge step in the opposite direction. the practical impact of the amendment from the gentlelady from california is to essentially squash any of the reporting that would take place on these emerging growth companies for imposing the level
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of liability imputed to the communications of the research reports. in order to get on to this i.p.o.on-ramp, in order for the small growth companies to access our equity markets, there has to be the research which is published. and without it, without it, the accredited investors would probably never know of the existence of the companies in the first place. and i would point out that many of the concerns should have already been addressed. number one, all these emerging growth companies are still liable for the global research analyst settlement of 2003, which established a comprehensive set of rules that settled the linching between research banking and activities. the sarbanes-oxley which
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requires broker dealers to disclose all potential conflicts of interest, regulation, a.c., stock exchange listing standards, similar codes of conduct and the list goes on and on and on. and so, again, mr. chairman, to add yet another level of liability, one that we are told would simply have an incredibly damening impact on the existence of these research reports for all intenths and purposes this would gut the bill. this would be an early evening in the house if we accepted it. but everything that members on both sides of the aisle have worked for would be for naught. and if it was a concern of the administration why wasn't it in the list of concerns. the president would like to see this passed and we would like to
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see it passed. there is bipartisan support in the senate. i would urge strong rejection of this amendment and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: may i inquire how much time i have left? the chair: the gentlelady fl california has 1 1/2 minutes. ms. waters: i yield to mr. capuano. mr. capuano: mr. speaker, i don't know if i'm going to use the whole thing, but this must be bizarro commerce because i will be agreeing with the chame of commerce. something must be wrong. now the chamber of commerce has raised the exact same issues that we are raising with this amendment. this amendment doesn't kill this bill. it simply says if you are going to give information to a handful with the people and file it with the s.e.c. and stand by saying it is legitimate.
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it says it in technical terms, but that's all it says. and by the way, i guess we need to be clear, we don't necessarily agree with everything what the chamber says. and i would like to be clear that no one has since stated but even the president himself would like to see amendments to this bill and i presume some will be passed in the senate and hopefully when theyr people like me will be a lot more supportive when it comes back. i'm not with the chamber very often, when i am, i think that's worthy of note. thank you, mr. chairman. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from -- the gentlelady has 15 seconds. mr. hensarling: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: i join with mr. capuano in saying we don't normally agree with the chamber of commerce. this may be the first time that
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i have agreed with the chamber of commerce, but you have the council of institutional investors that are warning us about this research problem that we have unless we clear it up. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i yield one minute to the gentleman from arizona, mr. schweikert. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for a minute. mr. schweikert: and thank you to the gentleman from texas. first up, i actually have the letter here from the chamber of commerce and i'm trying to find what has been discussed here. i thought i saw something come across where after three years they were willing to look at it. but this is a classic case of an amendment that the law of unintended consequences is potentially devastating. how many times around here do we have the discussion of what's the best regulator? it's information. and yet you are running an
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amendment here that basically will destroy information because of the liability that liability will make it so you're not going to do the research. you're not going to cover the stock. and if you read the amendment, i fear it may be so broad, does it cover a detailed investment newsletter? what levels does it cover? mr. chairman, i yield back my time, but i believe the law of unintended consequences here is very dangerous. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair: you have one minute left. mr. hensarling: i would like to yield the balance of our time to the chairman of the capital markets subcommittee, mr. garrett. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. garrett: i thank the chairman and as we indicate the president supports the underlying legislation and the gentleman indicated he may be looking to some amendments to
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the bill but i assume he would not be looking to this amendment. as the gentleman from arizona points out, what we are trying to do is facilitate the expansion and growth by the small companies. and how do we do that? and the gentleman from arizona says by the expansion of information. this information can and should get out there, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure that the liability that is imposed on the dissemination of information is not grave to it that you would supplement with this overarching desire to destroy that overall purpose of the legislation and you do that with this amendment. why so? at the end of the day you will get the same protections you are looking for in the sense that there lib strict liability imposed, where? on the prospectus. if you are in the investor and trying to decide whether you are going to invest in this new company or not, the information that you will be looking for will be where?
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the prospectus and the strict liability standard will be imposed. you do not want to impose that liability as you lead up to this situation with the other information that is going to outside research analysts and i opposed the amendment. the chair: all time has expired. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the nays have it -- ms. waters: roll call vote please. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 112-409. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 112-409
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offered by ms. jackson lee of tks as. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentlewoman from texas and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: i suggested that our underlying premise or the goal should be to reduce the deficit is to put america back to work and this concept of emerging growth opportunities or regular growth companies is, in fact, i believe a viable step of doing so. i do want to remind my colleagues again that overall business investment is growing. corporate profits are up as are exports which have been a source of strength. we are working hard to ensure we want to make it in america and bring companies back home and certainly we want to encourage investment, private sector employment has grown for 23
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months and the economy has grown for 10 straight quarters. my amendment is to discuss the fine distinctions between those who are very sophisticated and those who are not. my amendment allows oral and written communications to potential investors who are qualified, but owe myths accredited investors in the name of investor protection. that is to say that we know the accredited investors are less, if you will, able with the information that they have to compete with what we have classified as qualified institution national investors. the amendment is to ensure that an accredited investor would not be considered a qualified investor and be taken advantage of. it would amend the securities act to expand the range
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permissible prefiling and allow emerging growth companies to determine whether qualified or institutional investors might have an interest. mine is a simple amendment simply being concerned about the accredited investors and whether or not there is the equal playing field alongside the qualified institutional investors which would have far more sophistication and it is an effort to provide extra protection for those who are now out in the marketplace under these emerging growth concepts. i ask my colleagues to support this amendment and reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. hensarling: i rise to claim time in opposition. i will yield a minute and a half
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to mr. fincher. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fincher: i rise in opposition to the gentlelady's amendment. again, our goal here today is to help america start-up companies grow, raise capital and create jobs. the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas would limit opportunities for emerging growth companies to expand business by cutting them off from experienced investors. part of generating a successful i.p.o. is having the ability to test the waters through pre-i.p.o. meetings. these are the investors you want to talk to and receive feedback from before launching it a success. if a company learns there is a good chance it will have a successful i.p.o., it would be less likely to choose a merger and acquisition path which results in losing jobs and continues to grow organicically and create jobs. it doesn't make sense to cut
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them off. i understand there there may be concerns with investor protections, but in this bill, emerging growth companies are only allowed to test the waters with highly sophisticated investors so protections are not weakened. therefore, i cannot support this amendment and i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i maintain this is a simple premise of protecting the less sophisticated investor and i have no desire to not see jobs being created or the opportunity for emerging growth entities to have access to opportunities for investment. it is quite clear that qualified institutional investors are far more sophisticated than the accredited investor status.
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so i can't get clearer than that, trying to make sure that we protect those. and as we noted for the democrats who served on the financial services committee, they made certain -- certain statements to assure that we have the greatest amount of protection for those who we want to see having real opportunities. with that, mr. chairman, i happily yield back my time and ask my colleagues to support this very simple amendment that seeks to protect accredited investors. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas yields back. the gentleman from texas. . . i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, the chairman of the capital subcommittee market, mr. garrett, two minutes. mr. garrett: the premise of the legislation is what? as we say before, to try to
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encourage the smaller growth companies to try to develop their businesses and go on and eventually go public. in light of the last conversation we had on the last amendment, we said -- to facilitate doing that we do that by exchanging information to the public, be able to share information from research analysts and the like. eventually, as we pointed out in the last bit of amendment, we said that eventually at the end of the day you get two perspectives where strict liability would incur and so that the investor would have the adequate information to do so and they would also have the liability protection afforded them that you would have with a perspective. all well and good. now we come to this amendment. i have to scratch my head to understand exactly what the proponent of the legislation is trying to do here. her last comments was we want to protect, who? well, the less sophisticated investor. ok. let's take a look at that. what are we dealing with here? what we're dealing with here with striking the language that would allowing an emerging growth company to -- the chair: the gentleman's time
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has expired. mr. hensarling: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. garrett: that are accredited investors. who is it that sets the standards for accredited investors? the s.e.c. so if you're concern is that the level of accredited investors is not sophisticated enough to deal with the purchase of these investments, then your complaint is not with the underlying legislation. your concern should be directed to, who? the entity that sets the standards for that, the s.e.c. this legislation basically says that these people who should be involved here are accredited, set by the s.e.c., therefore, by definition are sophisticated investors. that's why i would oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: how much time do i have remaining? the chair: two minutes. mr. hensarling: how many? the chair: two minutes remaining. mr. hensarling: at this time i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from arizona, mr. schweikert. the chair: the gentleman from
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arizona is recognized. mr. schweikert: my understand is the way the amendment is drafted is this would basically say that an emerging growth company could not, would be prohibited from communicating with an accredited investor. ok. do we all know -- i think the current definition from accredited investor is $1 million net worth, not counting your residents, a couple hundred thousand dollar income for i think three years running , and now we're telling an emerging growth company that that's the population that you're not allowed to talk to? you know, it's -- i appreciate investor protection and protecting the little guy, but at some point when someone's holding $1 million in equity outside their house and they demonstrated they have a couple hundred thousand a year income, i think those are the very people i want to be having
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communication with the growth company, you know, that give and take, that information flow. and that's why actually this is a bad amendment. and we need to stand up and oppose it. and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: 30 seconds. mr. hensarling: i would just say to my friend, the gentlelady from texas, we have to settle for batting at .500 as i supported her earlier amendment, i have to rise in opposition to this one. the very purpose of an accredited investor is to identify the class of individuals who have greater capacity to handle risk, do not require the enhanced protections. her amendment would unnecessarily restrict capital, formation and consequently job growth, and i urge its rejection and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: all time having yielded back, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
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the noes have it. and the amendment -- the noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in house report 112-409. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8 printed in house report 112-409 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: thank you so very much. and let me say to my good friend from texas, i'm going to look forward to working with him on the previous amendment that simply was misconstrued and we simply want to respect those who have $1 million outside their window, but we also want to ensure that we have protection for those less sophisticated investors. the amendment that i have before me, likewise, has an intent to allow the s.e.c. not
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to be plagued by frivolous filings, but i want to work with the committee going forward, and so i will not pursue this amendment and, mr. chairman, i am going to ask unanimous consent to withdraw this amendment, number 8, at this time. the chair: without objection, the amendment is withdrawn. ms. jackson lee: i like the -- ilconclude by saying i like the batting .500, and i will continue to work with this committee on these important issues. with that i yield back my time. i'm sorry, does the chairman respond? i ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment. the chair: the amendment has been withdrawn, yes. the gentlelady yields back her time. it's now in order to consider amendment number 9 printed in house report 112-409. if you were the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. connolly: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 112-409 offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 572, the gentleman
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from virginia, mr. connolly, mr. and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. chairman. this important amendment will help small and emerging growth businesses address a significant cost they incur, the rising price of gasoline. according to the national federation of independent businesses, 10% of businesses say energy costs are the single largest. 25% cited as the second or third largest. although some argue for increased domestic drilling, at best it will take five years before new supplies are brought to market and have any effect on the current price of gasoline. meanwhile, oil companies are producing more oil in america right now than at any point in the last eight years. but since they're also exporting more oil, consumers aren't realizing the benefits of that production. approving the keystone x.l. pipeline, as some proposed, actually would make gas prices even worse. the oil company, transcanada, that said in its pipeline
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application that keystone will raise american oil prices by $3 a barrel. the price of gasoline has risen 30 cents per gallon in the last month, and we need to drive down prices, not allow them to increase. there are a number of factors involved in the rapidly increasing price of gasoline. however, one of the significant causes is the proliferation of financial market speculation on oil and gas products. during the last gas price spike, goldman sachs estimated that speculation added $27 to the price of a barrel of oil. just last week, oil state senator tom coburn, told the house oversight committee, the speculation is adding as much as 15% to a price of a barrel. a report said that excessive speculation leads to a 56 cent
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premium per gallon at the pump. we cannot have financial institutions bidding up the price of oil solely to further their own pockets and needlessly drive up costs to consumers. domestic demand for oil is at its lowest point in the last 15 years, but the price of gasoline is hitting new highs. the commodity futures trading commission is working to address oil and gas speculation but they need more -- they need to be more aggressive. i joined 44 members of this house and 23 senators in sending a lefter to the cftc to eliminater -- letter to the cftc to eliminate this speculation. this amendment would provide valuable information on how such speculation affects the emerging growth companies to raise capital. access to capital remains a challenge to most entrepreneurs and i'm certain rising costs to energy will impede startup
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companies. my simple amendment requires the securities and exchange commission in consultation with cftc to study the effects of oil and gasoline prices emerging growth companies. it would address and better protect american entrepreneurs to raise the capital necessary to innovate and succeed in the competitive global market. i urge my colleagues to join me in the simple effort to study the excessive speculation and hopefully reduce energy costs on american innovators and consumers. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. hensarling: i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: well, thank you, mr. chairman. i have some good news for the gentleman from virginia. the very issue that he cares to
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study has already been studied. in january of 2011, democrat cftc commissioner, mike dunn, said, quote, cftc staff has analysis to support either the contention that excessive speculation is affecting the markets we regulate or that position limits will prevent excessive speculation with such lack of concrete evidence. my fear at best is this is a cure for a disease that does not exist or worse, a placebo for one that does. similar study has been conducted by the federal trade commission. mr. chairman, if we are going to be in the business of conducting studies, perhaps we should study why this administration has had over three years to study the keystone pipeline and still refuses to allow more energy to come to america for americans.
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now, apparently in a reversal, the president has decided that if the energy can hitchhike from canada successfully to the red river, the northern border of texas, we'll allow it to get to the refineries on the gulf coast. otherwise, no energy. shouldn't on the road to american energy independence we ought to at least go through the road of north american energy independence? and these are 20,000 shovel-ready jobs, and i know the administration gets confused by what shovel-ready jobs is. 20,000 shovel-ready jobs and it's objected by this administration. why? this administration has declared war on carbon-based industry, thus, trying to increase the price of energy for small businesses, for struggling american families, for hardworking taxpayers. please don't take my word for it. take the word of the secretary of energy, steven chu.
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quote, somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of europe. well, again, i've got good news for the administration. they're doing a wonderful job. they have us on the road to increasing energy levels to the price of europe, and the consequent, unemployment that goes with it, and the consequence of having the fewest business startups in almost two complete decades. so the matter that gentleman cares to study has already been studied. it's already been studied. i also recall the time that we welcomed investors into the market. i suspect it is fear of this administration's energy policies that is causing these prices to skyrocket even further. as bad as it is today, people know it will be even worse. so i would urge rejection of this amendment that takes this bill in the complete opposite
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direction that needs to be going. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i recall how much time remains? the chair: all sides have 1 1/2 remaining. mr. connolly: thank you. the chair: you're recognized. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm saddened but of course not surprised that my friend on the other side would not want a simple amendment to study the effect of oil speculation on the price of oil because it doesn't fit the political narratives. . while we are trying to have a narrow narrative that it is somehow the responsibility of a particular administration in terms of the rise in the price of oil, i think the american consumer and american innovators and start-up companies and entrepreneurs are entitled to know what percentage of a barrel oil is in fact due to oil speculators and financial institutions that the other side of this house wants to protect.
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with respect to the keystone pipeline, it's 5,000 jobs, not 20,000 shovel-ready jobs. the "washington post" did a study and they were all temporary, at most 50, 60 permanent jobs would be created. and the other thing my friends on the other side don't want to talk about, it will go to port arthur, texas for export and not domestic consumption. if they want to contend otherwise, let's support an amendment that that pipeline can be produced and built so long as that oil is for domestic consumption. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. fincher. the chair: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. fincher: it seems like the gentleman's amendment is trying to confuse the sharp rise of gas prices with the purpose of this bill, which is to provide emerging growth companies with the break from burdens. gas prices are going up but emerging growth companies are not to blame. i introduced this bill to encourage small business to go public, to have access to more capital and create more jobs. job creation is the purpose of this bill, not gas prices. rising gas prices is a critical issue and we would be glad to have the debate some other day, but today we are talking about job creation in the private sector and this is a very important piece of legislation that the president supports. so let's give the power back to the people. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i yield myself the balance of the time. regrettably the ranking member is not here, because he chose to
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violate house rules and speaking privileges were denied for the rest of the day, but during our committee markup, he said studies are not done free by the s.e.c. i will be much more careful about burdenening them with studies which will come at the expense of more important duties, one more reason to oppose the gentleman's amendment. and i yield back. the chair: all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, -- the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further progresses on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10, printed in
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house report 112-409. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mccarthy of california. the chair: the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. carter: this is to make sure that -- mr. mccarthy: and in consultation with the securities and exchange commission and our friends on the other side of the aisle, we identified several areas where the language in the bill could have had some unintended consequences and limited the effectiveness or expanded its reach beyond what we originally intended. this amendment does three things, clarifies that general
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advertising provision should only apply to regulation d, rule 506 of the securities offering. protects investors by allowing for general advertising in the second cell of these securities so long as only qualified institutional buyers purchase the securities, provides consistency in the interpretation for regulators that general advertising should not cause these private offerings to be considered public offerings. our goal with this amendment to ensure that more small businesses have the opportunity to find the investors they need while preserving investors' protection. mr. chairman, i created my first business at age 20. i was fortunate enough to be successful enough to pay my way through college. mr. chairman, as i look today, i don't know if i could start that same small business. entrance to market is great, access to capital. what our goal to do in this bill
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is to expand that. and as we measure across america, the greatest growth we ever have is small business. mr. chairman, i was reading the other day, if you look at the challenge that we have in the current administration and its policies hampering our ability to grow, you look back to the last recession, 2001. look at the beginning of this recession in 2007. a lot of people in america say that was a time of growth in america from 2001 to 2007. if you ever measured who created those jobs, small businesses, companies under 500 employees added seven million jobs and they came from companies five years old or younger. we are at an all-time low of new start-ups. we are hopeful with this new legislation that will all change. the future will be brighter and
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put america back on the right path. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does gentleman rise? >> i rise to claim time in op -- in opposition to the amendment. mr. himes: i thank the gentleman for his amendment and washinging with the minority party and ranking member on the provisions of the amendment. i understand there is support for this amendment on the other side of the aisle. i would like to take a couple of minutes to talk about the waters' amendment, which was discussed a few minutes ago. just to clarify a few points, if i may. congressman waters, in committee, raised the concerns about the way information was used during the dot-com boom and the record needs to be clear that under our bill, they will
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remain subject to certain provisions. it will be subject to the global research analyst settlement, a settlement which resulted from the problems in the early 2000's. this settlement established the comprehensive set of rules that was between investment banking and research activities at large banks. they will be subject to the section 501 of sarbanes-oxley which requires research analysts and broker dealers to disclose all potential conflicts of interest in reports and subject to regulation ac which requires analyst to certify that the views expressed accurately reflect the personal views about the securities and to disclose whether research analysts were compensated in connection with specific recommendations.
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and they would still be subject to stock exchange listing standards. the point is that the protections against these conflicts that the gentlelady from california is concerned about are preserved under our bill and we would argue that the amendment is not necessary. in fact what the amendment would do is it would take away what we think is an advantage to our legislation, which is research that would be available on small emerging growth companies, which are not covered currently by certain of these regulations. i would like to ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, obviously the amendment failed on a voice vote. and i would ask as the amendment goes to a recorded vote, that my colleagues keep in mind that these protections still exist
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for investors and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. mccarthy: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: e the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the amendment is agreed to. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in house report 112-572 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 3 by mr. himes of connecticut. amendment number 6 by ms. waters of california, amendment number
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9 by mr. connolly, the chair will reduce to two minutes after the first vote in this series. unfinished business is request for a recorded vote on amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-409 by mr. himes on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-409 offered by mr. himes of connecticut. the chair: those in support of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] he
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yeas are 164, the nays are 245, the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is request for a recorded vote on amendment number 5 printed in house report 112-409 by the gentleman from minnesota on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 5, printed in house report 112-409 offered by mr. ellison of minnesota. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
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representatives.]
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the chair: the yeas are 169, the nays are 244, the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is
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request for a recorded vote on amendment number 6 by ms. waters on which further proceedings were postponed and the noes prevailed by a voice vote. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 112-409 offered by ms. waters of california. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: the yeas are 157, the nays are 258 --
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 161, the nays are 259, the motion is not agreed to. "q&a" amendment number 9 printed in house report 112-409 by the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, on which further proceedings were postponed, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 112-409 offered by mr. connolly of
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virginia. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote the yeas are 185, the nays are 236. the motion is not agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee
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rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chairman of the committee of the whole on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 3606 and has come to no resolution thereon.
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the house will be in order. i would ask members to please clear the well. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous concept that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill.
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the clerk: h.r. 4105, an act to apply the counterveiling duty provisions to nonmarket economy countries and for other purposes.
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the speaker pro tempore: i would ask for order in the house. would members please clear the well.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair would entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in honor of arkansas children's hospital which is celebrating 100 years of service to arkansas' children and families. since it was founded in 1912 as an orphanage -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. >> since it was founded in 1912 as an orphanage, childrens has grown to become one of the largest pediatric hospitals in the nation. children's is the only number one pediatric trauma center in arkansas and they provide care to all 75 counties.
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mr. griffith: for the past -- mr. griffin: for the past three years it's been included in fortunes 100's best places to work. medical breakthroughs, intense treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward thinking have led to children's international reputation. this is due to children's more than 4,000 employees. i congratulate arkansas' children's hospital on their contribution to the health and well-being of our children and families and to arkansas' economy. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as we do here in congress every time that gas prices rise, members from both sides of the aisle are quick to blame each other. ality at the reasons we find our -- mr. altmire: the reasons we find ourselves with high gas prices today aren't simple and we should be wary of anyone who is
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offering a one-stop solution to this crisis. we can take steps to try to calm these prices today but the real fixes are going to take years and willingness to lower the partisan rhetoric around this issue is going to be part of the equation. one thing we can do now in the short-term is to make sure that our commodities markets are functioning rationally. that means empowering federal regulators to ensure that oil prices can't be driven simply by financial speculation. we need a commodities future trading commission to enforce strong trading limits, to police speculation and energy markets and we here in congress have to give them the resources they need to do that. mr. murphy: the problem we face today isn't one of supply and demand. demand is at its lowest in 17 years. mr. altmire: supply is at its highest in three years. this is a question of making sure that speculation isn't running the price up too fast and too quick. it's our job to put some speed bumps along the road. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house four one
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minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection -- for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as of today the price for a gallon of regular gasoline in jones brow, arkansas, is $3.55. just a year ago that same gallon of regular gasoline would have cost $2.96. we all heard the news reports that gas could hit a record $5 a gallon this summer. the rising cost of gas not only effects my constituents at the pump, it also drives up the cost of goods and services. mr. crawford: congress can lower gas prices. we can require approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline in 30 days, president obama's rejection of the keystone x.l. project will hit working families at the pump this summer. the american west is primed for oil shale development, to provide oil and natural gas. the u.s. geological survey estimates we have the equivalent of more than 1 1/2 trillion barrels of oil in colorado, utah and wyoming. that's enough to provide the united states with energy for 200 years. the obama administration recently announced plans to restrict offshore drilling. after the b.p. oil spill, strict regulations were put in place to allow for responsible drilling. now we need the obama
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administration to lift the ban on drilling. we are blessed to live in a land with abundant natural resources. we need a federal government that will get out of the way so we can develop those resources. not only will these projects help american families meet our energy needs, they'll also help create thousands of jobs in the process. thank you and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? schultz schultz i -- ms. wasserman schultz: i rise to honor captain grant. captain grant is retiring after a distinguished career with the united states coast guard reserves. his selfless work has included support to operation desert shield and desert storm and assisting in relief efforts in haiti and building strong bonds between the coast guard through dead cailted public outreach.
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in his capacity as a congressional liaison, he was combating maritime threats. he has received numerous awards and capping a career that included united states air force reserve and treasury department. i can't thank captain grant for his friendship over the years. i speak for my staff and the greater florida community and captain grant we are proud of your career, your accomplishments and you will be missed. thank you for your service. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for one-minute speeches? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. davis for today after 4:00 p.m. and the balance of the week and ms. moore of wisconsin for today and
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the balance of the week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, here wer five weeks from the time that we all have to file our income taxes, april 17 of this year. it's 99 years since this house enacted the progressive income tax that we now all know by its familiar names that we all use for it and i thought it might be appropriate to spend some time this evening talking about our tax code and talking about what might be possible in fundamental reform of the tax code.
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i have long been a proponent of what is known as a flat tax. i think that is something that is worthy of this house taking up and debating. there is legislation that has been introduced, h.r. 1040, for people who are keeping score at home and this would be a rational approach for people who want to be treated fairly by the tax code. our president does talk about fairness in the tax code and for people who are wanting to get out of the tyranny of having to live with a shoe box of receipts every spring. this weekend when i go home, i will be spending time with that shoebox of receipts. the flat tax was an idea that was promulgated by my predecessor, dick armey. i embrace it and i thought it was some of the smartest economic policy i had ever read because i lived through the clinton paradox.
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in 1993, president clinton in his first year of office, earned an identical amount of money that i earned in my medical practice back in texas. when the taxes were filed and the reports were given how much mr. clinton had paid that year, he returned about 20% of his income in the taxes that he paid. we had earned an identical amount and when i did the same calculation on myself, it was 32%. why should two people who had the identical earning level pay vastly different amounts on their income tax? the fundamental difference, differenceses in math, why should it account for that discrepancy. i wanted to push this. and i have been anxious for this congress to enter into this debate and i am encouraged over the past debates that
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presidential candidates have been talking about tax reform and the president has mentioned he is creating fairness in the tax code. i'm all for that. and i think that this is one way that this house could entertain at least having the debate and perhaps provide a way forward for a more sensible structuring of the payment of income taxes in this country. i'm so very happy tonight to be joined by another member, mr. west of florida, has agreed to speak with us and share with us his thoughts on fundamental tax reform and i recognize mr. west. mr. west: thank you, dr. burgess, for allowing me to be here and talk about reform of our tax code. when you sit back and look at the progressive tax code that we have here in the united states of america, we hear a lot of talk about fairness and fair share and economic quality and
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shared sacrifice but one of the things we have to come to understand, if you look at the top 1% of wage earners in the united states of america, they are paying close to 40% of the federal income taxes. when you consider the top 5% of wage earners, they are paying close to 58%. the top 25% of wage earners in the united states of america pay 86% of the federal income taxes, but now we are coming to understand that you have a large percentage of americans, some say it is between 47% to 49% that are paying nothing in federal income taxes and kind of reminds me of that movie "ben hur" when he was september off to be on the roman galleys and he said row well and we remember that beating, well, what happens on that roman gallye if only 25%
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is rowing. that is the situation we have here in the united states of america. we will not fully recover this economy so we will have the capital that is necessary out there so americans can pay for the ex oshtant gas prices and small business owners can expand their businesses and now is the time to look at fundamental tax code reform so we can eliminate things such as the death tax and the dividends tax, which a lot of the seniors that i represent down in south florida, they depend upon those dividends. why are we having these taxes upon tax? i think this is a great opportunity to have this conversation and i'm so honored that you allowed me to stand here and spend time with you this evening. mr. burgess: i hope the gentleman will stick around. i have a few points i want to make, but at any point, you feel
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like to expand upon something, feel free to join back in. we often hear the saying that there is nothing certain except death and taxes. sometimes death seems a little less complicated than our tax code. h.r. 1040, this is an optional tax bill that i have introduced this year and for several congresses now and has a number of co-sponsors. we are yet to get to ram, inc. speed as the gentleman pointed out but with the additional emphasis that has been placed on fundamental tax reform by the republican presidential debates, i think this is the debate that the american people are anxious to participate. here's an interesting quote and it's interesting that i had a
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poster made of it. the tax system is so complicated that even the i.r.s. commissioner has said, quote, i find the tax code complex, so i use a preparer. a guy who is in charge of the whole shindig cannot do his own taxes so he has to hire it out. this individual who is the i.r.s. commissioner cannot figure out how to do his own income taxes without a preparer, how in the world is the average joe supposed to be able to figure this out? and i asked that question because i have used this quote for a couple of years, and then last weekend in "the dallas morning news"," i was struck by this quote, an article, where a small business woman was interviewed about how she could possibly file her income taxes when she didn't understand it and she told the reporter, i
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don't care what the i.r.s. says, it's complicated. it's much more confusing than i understand. we don't know what we're going to do. now,ion what this says -- now, i don't know what this says to you, but it says to me, time for change. mr. west: when you look at the fact that we have a tax code that is some 67,000 pages. as a matter of fact, the american people know that even some of our colleagues up here on capitol hill and this very body, house of representatives, have had some issues with the tax code, also to include our own secretary of treasury who had some issues with the tax code and the confusing nature of which it exists. it is an important time that we go back and re-examine this tax code and move away from this progressive tax code system and simplify it for the american people. if we can bring those rates down and lower the deductions and get
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rid of a lot of the loopholes on the personal incomes side and think about what we can do for generating economic growth here in america. mr. burgess: the answer would be simply outstanding and my wish is to live long enough. the chains imposed by the tax code -- i wasn'ted l -- i wasn't going to bring up but the heads of committees charged with writing the laws with americans having to pay in their taxes and these individuals simply could not comply because it was too complicated. the individual who was in charge of the committee, writing the tax laws found himself afoul of the tax laws. the head of the u.s. department of treasury found himself afoul
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of the tax code because he alleged i am presentence report in the system. the tax code has grown so much. when it was first created, the tax code comprised a total of 400 pages. as the gentleman from florida just mentioned, it has grown to almost 70,000 pages. remember, one of the fundamental things of the legal system is ignorance of the law is no excuse, closed quote. therefore, theoretically, every single american who is merely trying to comply with the law and get their taxes filed by april 17 this year is required to be familiar with 70,000 pages of tax rules. now, i don't do my own taxes. i don't trust myself to do my own taxes and i'm not smart enough with four college degrees, i couldn't possibly handle this. the tax attorney that i employ
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at great expense is familiar with all 70,000 pages let alone the single mom back in dallas, texas, that i referenced. the complexity of the tax code is a consequence of deductions and exemptions. it might surprise some people that the tax code is used to steer a social agenda. but it's supposed to be a tax code. so what does that mean? it means it's a special interest are run ingram pant in the code. any time congress wants to punish or reward, we call behavior, we add either a credit or a tax to the i.r.s. code. an example of this would be the 23 new taxes that were included in the affordable care act. let me pause for just a minute. i get a lot of criticism from a lot of people, you are a doctor, and should have been for health reform. the bill signed by the president
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two years ago this march was not a health care bill. it was a tax bill. how do i know that? i know that because the house passed its own bill on health reform, but the senate, when the senate passed a bill on health reform, it wasn't the bill that the house worked on, h.r. 3200. it wased in this house in november 9, 2009 and went to the dust bin of history. the bill that ultimately became the affordable care act was h.r. 353590on passed the senate on christmas eve. why was it a senate bill now. h.r. 3590 started life as a housing bill, a bill to deal with veterans' housing. it passed in july of 2009. i think i voted against it. but h.r. 3590 had not one word about health care or taxes.
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it goes over to the senate, sits in the hopper and gets picked up by the majority leader and he knew, he knew it was femly a tax bill and not a health care bill so it had to originate in the house of representatives. so here's a convenient bill number, h.r. 3590. amended, strip the housing language out of it and put the health care bill. and it's really a tax bill passed by the senate and ratified by the house in march of 2010. it was a dreadful process and for anyone who remembers those days it was some pretty dark dealing from the bottom of the deck and that's why the health care bill was unpopular. it stays unpopular to this day and i hope we are going to be able to get something done about it, if not this year than next. . .
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congress wants to punish their enemies or reward their friends. how do you figure special interests like ethanol and the special treatment they get in the tax code? the result of these actions are the complication of laws fraught with opportunities for, yes, avoiding taxes but also perhaps just simply making a mistake or not understanding all of the loopholes and all of this then comes down to the expense of fellow americans. everyone's familiar with the problems of the tax code. we all criticize it. it's almost like an american pastime to do that. but here's an interesting fact that further demonstrate -- some interesting facts that further demonstrate why we need fundamental tax reform. let me go through a couple of items, and -- i yield to the gentleman from florida. >> i'd like to talk about one of the things you just mentioned. how we are using the tax code as a weapon for behavior modification. you just brought up one of the things we have to be very concerned about.
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mr. west: all of the new taxes that will kick in and the patient protection and aforlble -- affordable care act. one of those taxes even includes a real estate transaction tax. now, why would we tax people for going out and selling homes and purchasing homes? those are the type of hidden things that you find in that bill. and that's why we need to come back and simplify this tax code. so that we don't have politicians using it for a certain ideological agenda. but there's another unintended consequence that i see occurring down in our district because of this very complicated tax code. now you have many different shady type of operators out there that are talking about how they will help prepare that tax code. you know, when you drive by and see the person spending -- spinning the arrow or dressed up like the liberty bell or something of that nature. and now we're finding that many of these places are rampant with tax fraud. that people are not getting their tax returns back. now, think about, just as you had recommended, a simplified tax code. think about what is happening
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with tax fraud that is targeting our seniors so that now you have people that are going, trying to file their tax form and they are finding out that someone has already done it under their presumed identity. if we could simplify this, a lot of those unintended consequences would not be happening. mr. burgess: that's absolutely correct. here's a few fun facts that i've compiled over the years on the income tax code. each year america spends $6.1 billion -- 6.1 billion hours preparing their tax form. that's 254 million days. who knew? the cost of compliance for federal taxpayers filling out their returns and related chores was $163 billion in 2008. that's 11% of all income tax receipts. think about that just for a moment. we could have an 11% increase in revenue to the federal treasury if these costs were not incurred. the tax code has grown so long that it's become challenging even to figure out how long it is. a search of the tax code in 2010
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turned up 3.8 million words. a 2001 study published by the joint commission on taxation put the number at 1.3 million words. a 2005 report put the number of words, almost tripled since 1975, such is the pace, the rate at which new regulations are being added. a study done in 1998 when the forms were even less complicated was surveyed by 46 tax experts. they kind of ransom hypothetical numbers on a thipethetcal earning and each expert came up -- on a hypothetical earning and each expert came up with different answers when determining tax liability. the calculations range from a low of $34,000 to a high of $68,000. the one who directed the test even stated that his computation is not the only possible correct answer. and, yet we are asking our fellow americans -- and yet we are asking our fellow americans, our fellow citizens to make this same type of leap of faith every year when they fill out these
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forms. they do not want to be nontax compliant. they don't want to be perhaps afoul of the law. but the problem is it is so complicated that they literally have no choice. mr. west: one of the pieces of legislation that we are currently considering is how do we spur our capital for our small businesses? now, think about what you are recommending, dr. burgess, where you look at the personal income tax rate and right now we have this, you know, progressive tax code system. what if we were to flat tax that out? one single rate. think what that would do for small businesses who operate from that personal income tax rate, subchapter s and l.l.c.'s, think about the fact of how they go from being at the top end, maybe 35%, 38% of that bracket. now we bring it down a little bit lower like you suggested in 1040. what happens with that capital now we put back in their pockets? what can we do with those small businesses?
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what can they do with providing the right type of betches for their employees, what can they do to expand that business? that's why what you're bringing up is one of the critical things we have to look at if we are truly going to turn around the economic situation here in america. mr. burgess: they might spend it on goods and services produced by other americans or they might reinvest it in their own business and hire a person, even with the threat of the health care act hanging over their heads. the tax foundation estimated in 2007 that the average person spends 79 days working to pay their federal taxes, another 41 days for their state and local taxes, to pay the federal taxes is more than people pay in health care, housing and transportation. you can kind of see the return on investment for those other areas, but i'm not quite sure that people see the return on investment as they're forced to pay their federal income taxes. we all complain about paying taxes but the fact is, if the system was fair and simple, it would be easier to take. now, americans don't mind paying for roads. they don't mind paying for a strong defense or for health
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care. but if the family who lives next door is paying a smaller share of the tax burden than you living right next door are forced to pay at a higher rate, just because they have a better accountant, that simply doesn't make sense to people. the declaration of independence states that all men are created equal and i believe that should apply to our tax code. time is precious. all of us don't have enough time to do all of the things that are in our daily living. we've got to earn a living, raise our family, discipline our kids, spend time with friends and then the dollars and cents side of the equation, where time is money, and valuable resources are squandered navigating the tax laws instead of growing the economy and instead of creating jobs. taken doth this is a strong prescription -- taken together this is a strong prescription for real change in our tax code. and the good news is we know it works. we've seen it before. we caught a glimpts of it in 1986 -- glimpse of it in 1986
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when ronald reagan cut it in half. the economy grew, revenues increased, jobs were created. i can't think of a better prescription for our economy than replicating the reform of the tax code on an even greater scale. so what to do? to me the prescription is very simple. flatten the tax, broaden the base, shift the burden away from families and small businesses, simplify the tax code and make it easier for businesses and families to use. now, even the national taxpayer advocate nina olson repeatedly states that simplifying the tax code as one of her recommendations to her annual report to congress. in 2009 she was quoted as saying the complexity of the code leads to perverse results. on one hand taxpayers who honestly seek to comply with the law can make inadvertentent errors causing them to either overpay their tax or to become the subject of an i.r.s. enforcement action for mistaken payments of tax. on the other hand, sophisticated taxpayers often find loopholes
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that enable them to reduce or eliminate their tax liability. now, look, this is the national taxpayer advocate and she thinks it's best for our constituents -- thinks it's best for our constituents if we simplify our system. so it makes sense for members of congress to take up that sentiment and work toward that goal. and, mr. west, i can assure you, your combinlts -- constituents and my constituents already know that. mr. west: you're absolutely right. you know, our constituents back in south florida, and of course we get a lot of email from all across the country and hopefully we'll get some of that email tomorrow after this special order, but they understand a single flat rate, all flat tax proposals have a single rate, and usually that single rate is less than 20%. that low, flat rate solves the problem of a high marginal tax rate by reducing those penalties against productive behavior such as work and risk taking and entrepreneurship. and also you eliminate a lot of those special preferences. because flat tax proposals would
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eliminate provisions of the tax code that bestow preferential tax treatment on certain behaviors and activities and guess what? it reduces that influence of lobbyists up here that you already talked about. when you get rid of deductions or lower those deductions, credits and exemptions and other loopholes that also helps to solve the problem of complexity. allowing taxpayers to file their tax returns on that one simple form. that's why h.r. 1040 is a great step forward. mr. burgess: just a few years ago a group called american solutions conducted a nationwide poll on different topics relating to the tax code and on taxes and jobs. they cross gender, ethnicity and party lines and discovered the following interesting facts about america. the majority of people in america, 69% to 27%, think the american tax system is unfair. a majority believes that the death tax should be abolished,
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65%. a majority favor tax incentives for companies who keep their headquarters in the united states of america, 70%-26%. taxpayers should be given the option of a tax rate of 17%. taxpayers would still have the option of filing taxes in the current system if they chose to do so. that was a 61% favorable. and the option of a single rate system should give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes on a single sheet of paper. guess what? that one was 82%. 82% of our constituents, our fellow americans believe they should be able to file their federal income taxes on a single sheet of paper. america has spoken, the evidence is clear and we need real change in our tax system. the encouraging news is that we do have a practical and effective blueprint for making this change across the board. the blueprint of course is the flat tax. 1981, robert hall proposed a new
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and radically simple structure that would transform the internal revenue service and our economy by creating a single rate of taxation for all americans. today several states with their state income taxes have implemented single rate tax structures for their state income taxes, from utah to massachusetts, citizens are seeing the benefits. in colorado a single tax rate generated so much income that the revenue that lawmakers were actually able to reduce rates. in indiana the economy boomed after a single rate went into effect in 2003 and the following three years the corporate tax receipts rose by 250%. here in congress there's no shortage of champions who have worked on the problem. i've been involved in this for a number of years but prior to my coming here, congressman david dreier of california, the chairman of the rules committee, has spent a number of years working on this concept. paul ryan, our budget chairman, paul ryan of wisconsin, chairman of the budget committee, has worked on this problem for a long time.
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mike pence of indiana who was our conference chair last term, of course my friend allen west of florida, all working to establish a simple tax rate structure for our country. other members are working on this in the senate as well. and let's be honest. this is a time where congress is not held in high regard and this would be a tremendous deliverable for the house and the senate to work together on simplifying the tax code and actually returning not just dollars to the american people, but giving them back their time. that we rob from them every year when we enforce compliance in the tax code. not everyone may agree on precisely what the flat tax rate should be. 17% no deductions is something that's been talked about for a long time and i think that's certainly a system that is worthy of study. but if someone else wants to talk about a system with two rates or three rates, if they want to maintain deductions, we should be able to have that debate. we should have it civily. it shouldn't be something that
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we clobber each other over the head about. but every american should bear this burden equally at the lowest rate possible and everyone should be able to do their taxes without the help of a professional. and people should be confident that when you want to save income -- when you earn the same income as the person across the street, you pay the same nks taxes at the end of that -- income taxes at the end of that year. as a way of comparison, there are 1.2 million tax professionals preparing tax during the tax season. which is roughly equal to the population of the state of hawaii. there are 950,000 doctors in the united states. now as a physician i think that this is -- that this number is off. it's a skew. healers should not be outnumbered by tax preparers. it makes no sense. more people should go into medicine and less into tax preparation and if we'll provide them the simplistic in the tax code, perhapses that can happen.
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but let's also be honest. the people who will be accountants who do your taxes would much rather be talking to you about your long-term life planning, your planning for your retirement, your planning for covering expenses if you become disabled. they would much rather talk to you about life planning than they would talk to you about how they disrupt your life with the tax code. i yield to the gentleman from florida. mr. west: thank you once again, dear colleague. you bring up a great point. when you talk about planning for your after years, your retirement years. but i think another thing we need to be considering is how do we spur on investment in the united states of america? how can we spur on innovation and ingenuity? and when you look at the flat tax, then you can get rid of double taxation, of savings and investment, because flat tax proposals would eliminate the tax code bias against capital formation, by ending the double taxation of income that is saved and invested. .
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this mean with -- this means we get rid of the death tax, the capital gains tax, or at least reduce it and get rid of the tax on dividend. by taxing income only one time, a plat tax is far easier to enforce and more conducive to the one thing we need in the united states of america right now, job creation. and capital formation. it is all about having the right type of tax policies that emanate out of this body, the house of representatives, and that's why we have to get behind your proposal. mr. burgess: according to h. yr block, one of the -- h&r block, one of the biggest preparers in this country, 76% of americans use some type of preparers. in 1960, less than a fifth of taxpayers used paid preparers, in 2011, h&r block garnered $11
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billion in tax preparation. i've got nothing against the company, they do a good job, i've got nothing against my own accountant, but it's an time of the season when a tax preparer has seen their income increase so much. we have the power to change it but won't do it an continue to create a system that's so complicated that more than half of the public feel the need to pay someone else ojust what they owe at the own they have year to uncle sam. i will tell you, it does not have to be this complicated. let me show you what is possible if we were to transform the system into a simple single rate tax. here is the form. this is not the long form, it's not the short form, it is simply the tax form. and maybe someone at home should time me but here you go. write in your name a little bit
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of identification data, your income, a line for personal exemptions, calculate deductions from the exemptions, calculate your tax by multiplying by a flat rate, subtract taxes withheld and you're done. what did that take? 30 seconds? a minute if you write slow? this is not a complicated formula. this is not a complicated scheme. most people would be able to do this themselves without a lot of outside work ore outside preparation. so no more tax preparation bills, no more tax attorney bills. all the hours of stressful research trying to figure out how your marital status affect yours return or how your children affect your return. no more headaches in trying to determine where the estimated tax payments go. no more congress picking one group over another just because they've got a clever lobbyist to advocate on their behalf. instead we just deliver a
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simple system to the american people. now, as you have said, single rate structure would eliminate taxes on capital gain, taxes on dividends, taxes on savings. those things should only be taxed one time, one time and done. personal savings would increase. i will never forget the time i thought during the prior recession in this country in texas, the savings and loan debacle meltdown, i was in a solo practice and i got worried at one point that i was not going to be able to meet my obligations and as we emerged from that and cash flow picked up a little bit, i thought you know, i am going to keep money in certificates of deposit, enough to cover three months of operating expenses so i never again have to worry about the dire wolf at the door. so i did that. i kept that money there for a couple of years. what i fun out by doing that maneuver, when that money eventually returned to the partnership and was distributed to the partners, we had paid
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corporate taxes on it, 38%, then paid personal income taxes at 39.6% because we were all doing pretty well by that time. needless to say mitigating circumstance partners were not amused by the fact that i had conjured up scheme that i thought would save us from ruin and in fact exposed taos double taxation under the i.r.s. code. i know the gentleman from florida wanted to say something. mr. west: you're absolutely right. when you think about last year, our g.d.p. growth over four quarters of about .4%, 1.0%, 1.3% an the revised number in the last quarter was 3%, that's why once again economists will tell you that the two principle -- principal arguments for a flat tax, growth and fairness, which you brought out. they are attracted to this idea because the current tax system with goirtantly high rates and discriminatory rates on saving and investment reduces growth, destroys jobs and reduces
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income. a flat tax wouldn't eliminate the damage of taxes altogether but by dramatically lowering rates an ending the bias against savings an investment, it will boost our economy's performance, especial will when compared to the present tax code. i think, dr. burgess, my dear colleague if you look, where flat taxes have been instituted, you have seen g.d.p. growth in those countries. what holds us back from doing something that is commonsense? mr. burgess: the country of esteena was the case a few years ago, when they reported on their state with a flat tax. i think this is a good system but i am willing to admit, i don't know the best for every family in america. some people would criticize the system and say, wait a minute, i need that income tax deduction for my home mortgage or for charitable deductions. that may be right. but i do know this. you should have the option of saying, i accept a single flat
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rate tax and i am going to give up those other deductions, but it should be your option. it should not be the united states congress dictating to each and every american what they shall an shall not do. if you have constructed your life by living around the i.r.s. code, then you should be able to continue doing that. if that is the reason by which you've made economic decisions in your life, ush be able to live by those decisions. congress should not be disruptive in this process. i personally would give up all of the itemized deductions i keep in order to get rid of having to keep up with those itemized deductions. would i still give money to charity? absolutely. would i still give stuff to the salvation army and good will? absolutely. it's in fun keeping up with those things, i always worried i've left something off and i'm not getting all that's owed to me off my income tax return.
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i would sho much rather have a system that's simple, that within a few hours every spring i could be done. the crites gets its money, i get the satisfaction of knowing i've done it correctly and i'm not going to jail for some perceived misperception on the tax code and no one else got a better deal than i did because they were more clever about how they declared charitable deductions, for example. let me give you an example of the mortgage tax deduction. i do have a lot of friends in the real estate business and they're concerned about losing that home mortgage deduction. it's one of the things on which -- one of the bedrocks on which the economy has been built over the years. if you have invested in a starter castle in california and your house payments are largely interest and not much principal, you probably don't want to do this pause that number is likely very high. but if you live in fort worth, san antonio, texas, where the
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average home mortgage is much, much smaller if you do the numbers if you run the numbers, you'll find that the amount of money you get to keep pr that mortgage income tax deduction is actually fairly modest. i would give that up in a heart beat to be out from under the tyranny of the shoe box full of receipts but i fully understand how some families made the decision a home is an importance investment, i get to write off the cost of the mortgage home deduction, i will make this investment in this size of home. it would be wrong for the united states congress to say, as of next year, you don't get to do that anymore. the real estate market has already suffered and it would suffer worse if congress were to make a suzzen -- sudden decision like that make it optional. either stay in the code and keep doing what you've been doing or you can evolve and come into the promised land of a flat tax and give up that shoe box full of receipts. but the important thing here is, it's your choice.
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it's your option. i will say that once you opt into the flat tax, you can't go back and forth into the code depending on what kind of year you have or what kind of investment you make. once you make the decision to go into the flat tax, there you'll stay. i fully believe that even though some people might not do as well under the flat tax system, because it is so much simpler and because it returns time to their live, they opt for this and as a consequence, we will see the number of people participating in the i.r.s. code dwindle down to an ever smaller number until one day it just vanishes urn its own weight and the country is completely freed from the tyranny of the i.r.s. code. i'll yield to my friend from florida. mr. west: you're right. i think the most important thing we have to come to understand is that this time belongs to the american people. the resources, the money belongs to the american people. let's give them the option to do what is best for them in their lives.
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the option of going to a flat tax or staying in the current progressive tax code system. the options of mortgage interest tax deduction, child tax credit, charitable cricks, as we reduce those deductions. but let's start treating the american people as adults. the key thing that has to accompany this is we have to reduce the size and scope of government as well. because as we start to focus more so on main street, as we start to focus more so on the hardworking american taxpayer and what's best for them, then we can have that investment at their level. we can have the growth at their level. one of the things that realy does trouble me when you drive around in washington, d.c., you see a lot of construction cranes. business is good up here. which means there's less in the pockets of the hardworking american worker. there's less in the pockets of that small business owner. and this is the means by which we unlock that entrepreneurial spirit that will grow this economy. so that's why i hope that in
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this congress, which is one of the reasons why i came here, we do those big reforms that show the american people that we're serious about turning this economy around, we're serious about creating the right type of policies to set the conditions for job creation. i yield back to my colleague. mr. burgess: our time here is almost concluded. the gentleman is exactly right. all of the improvements in the tax code really become meaningless if we don't reduce the size and scope and footprint of the federal government. you're right about the cranes that are all over town but after those buildings are built, let's be honest, the money invested in the federal government doesn't really produce all that much, does it? we don't make things here during the day, other than laws an regulations that interfere with other people's lives. we need to have this government smaller and more manageable and we talk a lot about transparency. i think transparency is good but the problem is, you have something that is so complex like the i.r.s. code and even
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though you may have the ability to look inside it, you won't know what you're fining when you get there. if you have a system that's as simple as this, people would be able to know what their government is costing them, what they are getting from that bond with the government, and if they didn't like that equation, they cowl change. they could change their member of congress, they could change their senator, they can change their president. that's the beauty in living in the representational republic that we all know and love in the crites of america. and the thing that arguably has made us great. government with the consent of the governed and wouldn't it be great if that governed knew just exactly what it was costing them and then perhaps they could find out where those dollars were going. now i mentioned earlier, budget committee, paul ryan, he's called for broadening the base an lowering the rates. obviously i want to work with him, the ways and means chairman david camp promoted simplification of the tax code. the president himself, through
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the bowles-simpson commission talked about it. whatever tax proposals we look to in the future, we need to remember that a system could be less costly a flat tax could be less costly, ave seg -- saving the taxpayer over $150 billion a year, redeuce tax costs by over 90% the resulting increase in personal savings, here you go, how about a debt-free stimulus package, a gift to the american people that could have an immediate effect on the american economy. american solutions looked into this question, 2009, 80% of americans favor an optional one-page tax form with a single rate. who could complain about making something easier? and we got 70,000 pages of tax code and more on the way this december when we get through with the so-called lame duck session which i don't know about you, mr. west, but it scares me to death to think about what's coming at the end of this queer. the current process comes at a
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cost that's way too high for the american people an costs way too much time. i yield to my fren for any closing comments. mr. west: thank you so much to my colleague from texas, mr. burgess. i think the seminal argument is this. we are talking about economic freedom for the american people. as opposed to economic dependency upon government and this incredible, exorbitant system that we have that is complex to the point where it is cause manager pain for the american people and causing them to have the freedom that they deserve. i want to thank my colleague for allowing me to participate in this special order with him. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i know i must direct my comments to you. april 17 is coming up, rapidly approaching, i know people are focusing and will begin to focus more an more on this issue in the remaining months of march and first weeks of april because they'll have to be arranging their own taxes and teal with their own shoe box of receipts. this is the time to make the
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point it is time to return time and money to the american people and adopt a flat tox. i yield back the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. it's an honor to be here tonight to speak out for women across america who rely on contraception for their health and well-being. i want to emphasize the word health because at its heart, that's what this debate is all about. there's been a great deal of discussion about religion in the debail -- in the debate. but we want to use tonight to remind policymakers in america -- and americans everywhere what's really at stake when we talk about contraception. and that's the health and well-being of millions of women and their families.
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99% of sexually active women have used contraception including 98% of sexually active catholic women. more than half of women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford contraception. it's also important to recognize 28 states already require contraception coverage and 57% of catholic donors support the new policy requiring contraception coverage. but today we want to move beyond statistics and tell human stories. the stories of women all across america who rely on contraception for a variety of vital health needs. tonight i want to share just one of many stories i have received from women in my district. the story i want to share is from a young woman in my district in chicago named annalisa. she was denithe inside
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contraception to treat her ovarian sift. she wrote me this letter. quote, i would like to applaud your decision to walk out of the one-sided talk about birth control coverage. i have a similar story to that of the rejected witness' friend. i had my right ovary removed shortly after i turned 18 due to a large cyst that not only threatened my fertility but i was told if it grew any larger it could burst and also threaten my life. my left ovary also had multiple smaller cysts that they were able -- but they were able to be removed while leaving the ovary in tact. my doctor said that i was one of the youngest with such a problem and the cysts were so large it was to be sent to be researched. before i was even sexually active i was prescribed birth control pills to preserve my remaining ovary and to take my fertility beyond the age of 18.
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it saddened me to no end that some people don't understand the many uses and life-saving abilities of birth control. i hope to be aman someday, she writes, a darn good one. and i thank you for standing up for women like me, end of quote. i want to thank annalisa for her bravery in sharing her story with me and allowing me to share it tonight. but annalisa's not alone. her story is the story of thousands of women around the country whose health relies on contraception. we will hear more stories like annalisa's tonight. but i hope that the next time we engage in a debate about restricting access to contraception, we remember annalisa and women like her. and that we remember that for thousands of women contraception is not a question of religion but a question of life and death. in addition to noncontraception health benefits, the
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contraception benefits of birth control cannot be understated. the simple fact is millions of women use birth control to delay or avoid pregnancy. according to the american college of obstetricians and gynecologists, quote, a full array of family planning services is vital for women's health. especially for the 2/3 of american women of reproductive age who wish to avoid or postpone pregnancy. nearly half of all pregnancies in the u.s. are unintended. and unintended pregnancies can have serious health consequences for women. for example, for some women with serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, a pregnancy can be life-threatening. children born from unintended pregnancies are also at greater risk of poor birth outcomes such as con genital defects, low birth weight and prematurity.
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according to the national commission to prevent infant mortality, a 10% -- excuse me, 10% of infant deaths could be prevented if all pregnancies were planned. i want to share another story of young woman named katie from my home state of illinois. katie, like millions of women across the country, currently relies on contraception because she is pursuing her career and wants to do so without getting pregnant. here's what katie wrote. quote, birth control is important to me personally because i am a 23-year-old medical student that would be deastronaut if i became pregnant. don't get me wrong, i love children and dream of a day that i can become a mother, she writes. but that time isn't now. that time isn't when i have $81,000 in medical school debt after just two years of medical school. that time isn't when i study for most hours of the day. that time isn't when i have no job and my only source of,
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quote, income is the overpayment checks i receive from my financial aid. birth control is important to me because i can't be a mother right now but i want to have the option in the future. birth control gives me the option to retain a somewhat normal intimate life with my partner of eight years while still protecting my dreams of a future in medicine. that future would be extremely hard to obtain with an infant to care for. end of quote. contraception has transformed our society by allowing women like katie to take their own health and their own future into their own hands. women have the power to decide when and how many children to have. which has allowed them to pursue successful careers and enter the work force like never before. but in the end this is not about work versus home life. this is about empowering women to decide for themselves.
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birth control lets women choose their own life's path. and that's why it's vital that we protect it. i also want to remind opponents of contraception coverage that contraception's prevent abortion. nearly half, 49% of pregnancies in the u.s. are unintended. and 42% of unintended pregnancies end in abortion. although abortion and contraception are one degree removed, it is easy to see that increased use of contraception will reduce unintended pregnancies and therefore reduce abortion rates. the data shows -- shored this up as well. according to a study published in the american journal of public health, the recent decline in pregnancy rates amongst american teens, quote, appears to be following the
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patterns observed in other developed countries, where improved contraception use has been the primary determinant of declining rates. teen pregnancy is at its 30-year low due in large part to increased contraception use. another recent study found that california's family planning program averted nearly 300,000 unintended pregnancies, 100,000 abortions and 38,000 miscarriages. finally, a group institute of study of nationwide family planning programs found similar results. according to them, quote, publicly funded contraception services and supplies have women in the u.s. avoid nearly two million unintended pregnancies each year. quote, in the absence of such services from family planning
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centers and from doctors serving medicaid patients estimated levels of unintended pregnancy, abortion and unintended birth would be nearly 2/3 higher among women overall. and nearly twice as high among poor wisconsin, end of quote. there can be no denying that contraception prevents abortion. abortion opponents should be bolstering contraception programs not banning them. we should be able to find common ground on the issue of contraception. a basic health service already utilized by the vast majority of american women. i hope we can work together to expand important investments in family planning such as title 10 and medicaid. and i hope we can move forward with the new, the important new rule requiring coverage of
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contraception, tome power women, improve health -- to empower women, improve health, save lives and reduce abortions. mr. speaker, i now yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the
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chair will be pleased to entertain a motion from the gentleman from illinois. mr. quigley: i move we adjourn, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned number 10:00 a.m. adjourned number 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
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want to tie surface transportation to new domestic oil trilling which they feel is a good political point to be making, that, of course, will not pass muster with democrats. they need to make sure they get the republican caucus on board. they're having trouble with that, from what i understand. >> the republican conference has a meeting today. what to do you know, what happened there? >> as i understand it, house speaker john boehner tole the
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members that the only option that would actually pass the house with the help of the democrats is a bipartisan bill that's being debated in the senate right now he put forward the other options that are on the table, asking them to please decide which one they would like to go for. they may be going back to the drawing boar and trying to do what they did a couple of weeks ago, pass a longer term bill without a measure that had some difficulties with some members of the caucus about transit. so the idea is, five-year bill to re-authorize the federal highway program, keeping mass transit in it for the time being, and then using energy drilling to pay for the shortfall that won't be made up for the highway trust fund. they had trouble with that a couple of weeks ago. it's not clear to me exactly what's different now but they seem to be thinking that they can muster votes over the recess they have next week. >> why did the speaker poll pul
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representative john mica off to replace him with bill shuster in the negotiations? >> i think there was confusion about whether he pulled him off. technically, john mica son the bill and will be the sponsor of whatever actually passes out of the house unless they decide to punt and take the senate bill. what is happening is thaton micah has been saying for weeks -- is that john mica has been saying for weeks and months he is in -- not in charge of the votes or funding, so to say he's been pulled from the bill is an overstatement but it's not entirely inaccurate to say thatboehner is looking to find whoever he can and bill shuster is a very good person to get the vote he is needs from the freshman members of congress. >> let's look to the senate for a second. much different bill a two-year re-authorization bill. what can you tell us about the status there? >> it's going on a long, slow
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slug toward passage. they're debating the number and type of amendments that can be put on the bill. last i checked, they didn't have a deal on the -- on what those amendments would look like but aides on both sides say they're getting close and i think they'll get one. most of the amendments that republicans are wanting to offer probably won't pass, so it's more a chance for making a political message. so eventually, i think they'll pass that bill. it's a bipartisan bill. it passed out of the environment an public works committee on a unanimous vote. there are some republicans who have a little bit of questions about the actual funding involved in it, they're going to need a little time to look at it and make sure it doesn't violate any of their conservative principles. >> fawn johnson is a contributing correspondent with "national journal." read her work at nationaljournal.com. thanks for that update. >> you're welcome. >> it is that time of year again where we announce our student cam winners for 20
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12678 over the past few years students from across the country have been working on their documentaries for this year's contest. 75 winning videos have been chosen and here's a clip of our grand prize winner's documentary. >> this is the -- neither the army nor the war relocation authority relished the idea of taking men, women, and children from their homes, shops, and farms so the military and civilian agencies decided to do it as the democracy should. >> they didn't call us citizens because it's illegal to imprison citizens without due process. >> but they did imprison u.s. citizens without due process. over 110,000 of them who happened to be of japanese ancestry. these american citizens were uprooted from their homes, taken away from their businesses, and sent to places like this.
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one of these citizens was my great uncle john. uncle john was a dental student in california at the beginning of world war ii. >> our education specialist called the grand prize winner on monday and here he is receiving the news. >> all the judges were very impressed with your documentary. your vintage videos and photographs helped put your story in context, your interview added perspective, and the way you related your topic to the story of one of your family members was really compelling. the overall quality of your documentary was excellent. so it's for all these reasons you have been selected to be one of our winners this year. would you like to know where you've placed? >> sure, sure. >> you have been selected to be c-span's student cam 2012 grand prize winner.
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>> wow! thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> so can you share with us one thing you learned while you went through this process? >> well, i really learned a lot about the process that the japanese americans went through and the struggle for social equality and justice. >> what was your favorite part of making the documentary? >> my favorite part was going to the camp itself and seing the conditions they lived in as well as editing and putting the whole movie together. >> would you like to know what you've won? >> sure. >> you've won $5,000. >> wow! thank you very much. >> you're welcome, and your teach , ms. cowell, has earned your school $1,000 to use toward video equipment. >> cool! >> pam is joining us now to tell us a little more about this year's student cam competition and its winner. so pam, what was the theme and
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how many entries were there? >> hi greta. this year's theme was "the constitution and you." we asked students to select any provision of the constitution and vee ate a video illustrating why it was important to them. we received a record number of entries, over 1,200, 43 states, washington, d.c., and puerto rico. those videos were judged in two categories, middle school and high school. we awarded 75 student prizes and 11 teacher prizes, totaling $50,000 an matthew, our grand prize winner, as you saw, will be receiving $5,000 for his entry. >> let's talk about the first prize winners in high school and middle school. >> first prize high school winner is carl coglaser a ninth grade homeschool tubte from north carolina. he discusses intellectual property as it relates to article 1, section 8 of the constitution. he talks about patents and copyrights and whether or not
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our current system supports innovation. he asked the question, can congress change the system? he effectively wove c-span footage throughout his documentary, one of the competition's requirements, and he interviews the director of the u.s. patent and trademark office to get information on his topic. carl did an excellent job of explaining a timely and complex topic. and in our middle school division, our first prize winner is leo pfeiffer, leo is an eighth grade student at -- in seattle, washington. in his documentary "who owns free speech," he discusses the first amendment and focuses on the freedom of the press. leo interviews a variety of people to get multiple perspectives on the media and he investigates the role of the media in our country and how the public gets its information and how we make decisions. he has a very effective use of a variety of c-span programs.
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leo did a thor rejob of researching his topic and presenting it very well. so -- >> so, pam, with can people watch the documentaries and learn more about student cam to get involved next year? >> go to our website, studentcam.org and find all kinds of information about the competition but we've posted our 75 winning videos. they're up there ready for you to view. in addition to that, each morning from april 1 through april 27, at 6:50 a.m. eastern time, we will be airing one of the top 27 winning documentaries. along with that, at 9:15 a.m. eastern time, you'll be able to see interviews with the students who created those documentaries. so be sure to tune in to see those as well. >> this week, there are two ways to watch the tucson festival of books on book tv. live on c-span2 and live online at booktv.org. on c-span2 saturday starting at
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1:30 eastern, jeffrey rose on the history of the supreme court and at 3:00, panels on forensic science, drug wars at 6:00. sunday, panels continue with the environment, the great depression at 2:30, the american west at 4:00, and at 5:30 studying the brain. and dianea henriquez on bernie madoff at 7:00. and look for coverage streaming live at booktv.org. the tucson festival of books, live this weekend on c-span2 and booktv.org. >> i believe it is just possible that we will come to admire this country, not simply because we were born here but because of the kind of great and good land that you and i want it to be and that together we have made it. that is my hope, that is my
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reason for seeking the presidency of the united states. >> as candidates campaign for president this year, we look back at 14 men who ran for the office an lost. go to our website, c-span.org/thecontenders to see sthreef contenders who had a lasting impact on american politics. >> the leadership of this nation has a clear and immediate challenge to go to work effectively and go to work immediately to restore proper respect for law and order in this land and not just prior to election day either. >> c-span.org/thecontenders. >> at the senate armed service committee hearing, defense secretary leon panetta responded to calls for military action to support forces opposed to syrian president al ashad. he's joined by joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey at this hearing looking into political unrest and violence in syria. this is 2 1/2 hours.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> good morning, everybody. the committee meets today to hear from secretary of defense leon panetta and chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey to update the committee on the situation in syria and to discuss the policies of the administration with respect to syria. it was nearly a year ago that demonstrations in syria, demonstrators, peacefully took to the streets to call for an end to the rule of president assaad. and demand an opportunity to choose a leader through a free and fair democratic process. since those first days of the uprising, the world has watched as the syrian people have continued to challenge the assaad regime's tyrannical
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ways. as the weeks an months have passed, peaceful demonstrators have been killed. the tragedy unfolds daily. according to the united nations' most recent estimates, more than 7,500 people in syria have been killed and at least 100 more people are being killed each day. the assaad regime's brutal crack dunn has included gross human rights violations, use of force against civilians, ar by and other humanitarian assistance. these acts, as is the case in syria, amount in my view to crimes against humanity. president obama's efforts to build a broad international coit

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